Howard Webb satisfied after refereeing 'extremely challenging' final
Jul 14, 2010 15:17
Premier League referee Howard Webb has claimed his appointment as
referee of the World Cup 2010 final, and the subsequent experience
gained by taking charge of the event, was an "amazing experience" and
has thanked the English media for their support prior to and following
the game on Sunday evening.
Webb, 39, endured huge levels of
criticism from the international media, especially the Dutch contingent,
following his performance during Sunday's final at Soccer City,
Johannesburg, a game which saw Spain come away as 1-0 winners after
Andres Iniesta's winning goal.
Webb issued 14 yellow cards
throughout the game, two of which were directed at Netherlands defender
John Heitinga, who was sent off with 11 minutes of extra time remaining,
and the Premier League ref was subsequently criticised for his
inability to control the game.
"I'm delighted to be home," Webb
told Sky Sports News. "It was an amazing experience out there.
was thrilled and delighted to be appointed to the final game which
turned out to be a tough game but we come home with a real sense of
achievement and just pleased to be back home now and looking forward to
spending some time with our families and recharging for the challenges
of the season ahead.
"I'm thrilled to have been involved in a
wonderful event. It was a great experience and I'm glad to be back.
for the support of the English people. The English media has been
absolutely fantastic and we received a big boost from reading everything
that's been written and said in support before the final and after it
"On behalf of myself and my family I'd like to say thank
you for that."
In later statement, Webb spoke of the "extremely
challenging" nature of refereeing the final.
"We felt satisfied
that we'd done a tough job in difficult circumstances to the best of our
abilities," he said. "It was an extremely challenging match to handle.
"Whatever the match, you always hope that the officials won't need to be
heavily involved. However, we had to raise our profile in order to keep
"We don't feel that we had much choice except to manage
the game in the way we did.
"From early on in the match we had
to make decisions that were clear yellow cards.
"We tried to
apply some common sense officiating given the magnitude of the occasion
for both sides - advising players early on for some of their tackling,
sending players away when they were surrounding the officials, and
speaking to their senior colleagues to try to calm them down.
is one of the toughest games we will ever be involved in and we feel
that we worked hard to keep the focus on the football as much as
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